The Alabama Print Portfolio was a project designed to create a limited-edition collection of prints by Alabama printmakers and to provide an opportunity for printmakers to meet each other and share their mutual interests.
The project began when a University of Montevallo art professor and printmaker, Scott Stephens, wrote a grant to the Alabama State Council on the Arts and Humanities. The grant was awarded and artists from Alabama colleges and universities were invited to submit work. An open invitation was issued to independent artists, as well.
Twenty-four artists were chosen, and with matching funds from the University of Montevallo and the artists themselves (who paid for their own printing), an exhibition opened in September 1986 in Montevallo. Each artist received a portfolio as did art museums around the state.
In 2022, the prints are just as fresh and relevant as they were over 35 years ago.
Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Memorial Day, is recognized this year from sunset April 27, 2022 to nightfall, April 28th. It honors the six million Jews and 5 million others who perished under the terror of Nazi Germany. We exhibit this work from our collection by Miriam Schapiro, titled, Lost and Found, in recognition of Yom HaShoah.
Miriam Schapiro, American, born Canada, 1923 – 2015. LOST AND FOUND, 1998. Lithograph with color Xerox on paper. Gift of Ita and Joshua Aber.
This exhibition offers “snapshots” of the Museum’s permanent collection presenting art, design, and crafts produced in each of the 10 decades (100 years) between 1913 and 2013.
Any given decade may include diverse, and often divergent works related only by having been created during the same 10-year time period. Any section might combine crafts, fine art, “folk” (self-taught) art, and designed objects presented in unusual or unexpected juxtapositions. The installation is designed to provide fresh perspectives and insights about the works shown and the timeframes in which they were created.
Mobile Museum of Art brings the iconic photographs by Gordon Parks during the Jim Crow era back to the city where they were captured with the special exhibition, Gordon Parks: Segregation Story in Mobile, 1956.
This exhibition of photographs documents the everyday activities and rituals of one extended black family, the Thorntons, in Mobile and Shady Grove, Alabama, during segregation. The images were originally published in a 1956 photo essay by Parks, an assignment from Life magazine after the Montgomery bus boycotts, but have come to be known around the world for helping to inspire the Civil Rights movement.
In an essay accompanying the portfolio of photographs Segregation Story produced in 2012 by The Gordon Parks Foundation, noted American cultural historian and art critic Maurice Berger explains,
“These quiet, compelling photographs elicit a reaction that Parks believed was critical to undoing racial prejudice: empathy. Throughout his career, he endeavored to help viewers, white and black, understand and share the feelings of others. It was with this goal in mind that he set out to document the lives of the Thornton family, creating images meant to alter the way Americans viewed one another and, ultimately, themselves.”
Department Store, Mobile, Alabama, 1956, Archival pigment print.
Ondria Tanner and Her Grandmother Window-shopping, Mobile, Alabama, 1956, Archival pigment print.
Black Classroom, Shady Grove, Alabama, 1956, Archival pigment print.
Mr. and Mrs. Albert Thornton, Mobile, Alabama, 1956, Archival pigment print.
Exhibition generously underwritten by Mobile County Commissioner, Merceria Ludgood
Title 1 school program support for the project from the Altmayer Foundation
Community Programming support by Mobile City Council members: Joel Daves (District 5), Gina Gregory (District 7), Bess Rich (District 6), Frederick D. Richardson, Jr. (District 1), C.J. Small (District 3), and John C. Williams (District 4). Mr. Williams will support a lecture by Dr. John Edwin Mason, author of an upcoming book on Gordon Parks.
Content created for the special exhibition
Toward Equal Justice: A Conversation
Gordon Parks: Segregation Story in Mobile, 1956
Generous support for these videos provided by Art Bridges.
Artist Dori DeCamillis’ paintings are self-portraits depicting her own states of mind. Each piece is a character designed to personify her ever-changing thought patterns, habits, and perspectives. These individual parts of her personality are painted as they come up in her life—they reveal human attributes that everyone can relate to.
Dori has exhibited her paintings in museums and galleries across the country and abroad, including a solo show at the Birmingham Museum of Art in 2000. Sherry Frumkin Gallery in Los Angeles hosted 5 sell-out shows of her work from 1996 through 2002. Her work has been featured in national newspapers and magazines, and she has won over 40 exhibition awards. Dori is now co-owner of Red Dot Gallery in Birmingham, a teaching space, art gallery, and working studio.
Dori DeCamillis Having Traffic with Thyself Alone, 2015 Oil on board
Dori DeCamillis I Engraft You New, 2015 Oil on board
Dori DeCamillis The Painted Banquet Bids My Heart, 2018 Oil on board
Dori DeCamillis In That I Honor Most, 2013 Oil on board
Dori’s work will be on view in MMofA’s Front + Center gallery and available for purchase in The Art Store.
Art quilting is one of my passions. It stirs my consciousness. When I first saw the 1912 photograph of Ar-Zuma with her grandchildren, I was compelled to know her story and create a piece of art.
Ar-Zuma was illegally smuggled into Mobile Bay, Alabama in 1860 on the last known slave ship, the Clotilda. After emancipation, she began her courageous life in the town known today as Africatown, Alabama.
The quilt, Ar-Zuma, evolved in layers of a printed photograph, hand-dyed cheese cloth, and organza overlays of sketches, photographs, and documents. The layers are anchored with hand embroidery and free motion machine quilting.
The doorway is quilted with the words of Cudjo Lewis, also a captive of the Clotilda. The ‘rocks’ at the base of the quilt honor other persons aboard the Clotilda. Hand calligraphy embellishes the backing of the quilt with the words of our forefathers’ declaration: “We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal…”
The quilt Ar-Zuma and her grandchildren received the President’s Award at the 2019 Black Canyon Quilt Show of Western Colorado for best exemplifying the theme of Liberty.
I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, with devoted parents and 4 siblings. I knew from an early age I was happiest when sewing with my mother’s 1938 Kenmore Deluxe sewing machine.
I graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1979 with a BS degree in Nursing, and spent 30 rewarding years as a Pediatric RN.
Now 62 years old and retired, I have the time to pursue my interests in the textile arts. I am largely self-taught. I seek out other art quilters and workshops to continue to grow creatively. I live in western Colorado with my husband, John. Together we share interests in cycling, hiking, fly fishing, skiing, history, and world traveling.
All photographs in this exhibition are by Norman H. Gershman
BESA: A Code of Honor is about the ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ – non-Jews who risked their lives saving Jews during the Holocaust. It is comprised of portraits and texts about Muslim families in Albania, who saved Jews during the Holocaust, converging between two seemingly opposed worlds. The remarkable assistance afforded to Jews during this time is grounded in BESA, the code of honor which still exists today. This help should be understood as a matter of national honor. These acts originated from compassion, loving kindness and a desire to help those in need – even those of another faith or origin.
Albania, a small and mountainous country on the southeast coast of the Balkan peninsula, was home to a population of 803,000. Of those only two hundred were Jews. After Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, many Jews found refuge in Albania. No accurate figures exist regarding their number; however, different sources estimate that 600-1,800 Jewish refugees entered that country from Germany, Austria, Serbia, Greece and Yugoslavia, in the hope to continue on to the Land of Israel or other places of refuge.
Following the German occupation in 1943, the Albanian population, in an extraordinary act, refused to comply with the occupier’s orders to turn over lists of Jews residing within the country’s borders. Moreover, the various governmental agencies provided many Jewish families with fake documentation that allowed them to intermingle amongst the rest of the population. The Albanians not only protected their Jewish citizens, but also provided sanctuary to Jewish refugees who had arrived in Albania, when it was still under Italian rule, and now found themselves faced with the danger of deportation to concentration camps.
The remarkable assistance afforded to the Jews was grounded in Besa, a code of honor which still today serves as the highest ethical code in the country. Besa, means literally “to keep the promise.” One who acts according to Besa is someone who keeps his word, someone to whom one can trust one’s life and the lives of one’s family.
The help afforded to Jews and non-Jews alike should be understood as a matter of national honor. The Albanians went out of their way to provide assistance; moreover, they competed with each other for the privilege of saving Jews. These acts originated from compassion, loving-kindness and a desire to help those in need, even those of another faith or origin.
Albania, the only European country with a Muslim majority, succeeded in the place where other European nations failed. Almost all Jews living within Albanian borders during the German occupation, those of Albanian origin and refugees alike, were saved, except members of a single family. Impressively, there were more Jews in Albania at the end of the war than beforehand.
In this exhibition, three artists living and working in the South—Pinky MM Bass, Ruth Miller, and Miriam N. Omura—dissect, manipulate, and push the historically feminine domestic practices of sewing, weaving, embroidery, applique, and crochet into new territory. These artists are masters of their medium who have developed labor-intensive creative processes over many years, and created work that is anything but domestic or traditional. Each artist, with her own unique voice and background, explores themes of identity, culture, race, aging, and inner reflection. This exhibition presents a selection of work from throughout their careers that embodies these themes.
Miriam N. Omura, Impure, 2017, indigo dyed cotton.
The David E. Brauer Collection February 7, 2020 – November 29, 2020
This exhibition explores the question, “what does an art historian collect?”
Art was the focus of Houston-based art historian David E. Brauer’s professional life for well over half a century. Brauer considered his idiosyncratic, personal art collection more an “accumulation” rather than a collection, reflecting the chance encounters and opportunities in his life’s experience.
AMERICAN Robert Arneson (American, 1930-1992) Brick, 1979 Etching and aquatint in colors, edition 5/20
AMERICAN Nancy Graves (1939-1995) Medusa, 1989 Color silkscreen with glitter, ed. of 170
Katsushika Hokusai (Japan, 1760-1849) Woodcut
Attributed to Miss Tatsu (daughter of K. Hokusai, 1820’s) Title unknown
EUROPEAN Joan Miró Ferrà (Spanish/Catalan 1893-1983) Galerie Maeght, 1970 Lithograph, ed. 40/75
EUROPEAN Man Ray (American, 1890-1976) (né Emmanuel Radnitzky) The Imaginary Portrait of Marquis de Sade, 1970 Color Lithograph (Artist’s Proof), ed. of 99
TEXAS Randy Twaddle (American, b. 1957) Untitled, 1985 Charcoal on paper
TEXAS Malinda Beeman (American, b. 1949) Ayers Rock, 1990 Oil on canvas
U.K. Gerald Laing (British, 1936-2011) Anna Karina, 2004 Screenprint, ed. 100 Print made after Laing’s large painting of Anna Karina (1963)
U.K. Derek Boshier (British, b. 1937) Boy in Heaven, 1980s Tempera on paper
For the purposes of this exhibition, the Mobile Museum of Art organized the work into 4 categories: European, Asian, American, (with subset of Texas art), and artists of the U.K.. There are artworks by the famous and unknown in the history of art, but all reflect the collector’s profession, life experience and diverse interests ranging from NASA’s space program to poetry, literature, and music.
Born in Scotland and raised in London, Brauer attended London’s St. Martin’s School of Art (1960 – 1965), where he studied both studio art and art history. Prior to moving to Houston in 1976, Brauer worked at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London and the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, and taught at North Oxfordshire College of Art and Technology. Brauer is the former head of the History of Art Department of the Glassell School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Over the course of 30+ years, he taught at the University of Houston, Rice University, and the erudite Women’s Institute of Houston. He has curated and co-curated many exhibitions, including a seminal 2001 exhibition, “Pop Art: U.S./U.K. Connections: 1956-1966” at the Menil Collection in Houston.
Prior to this exhibition, only small selections of Brauer’s collection have been seen publicly.
Visit Mobile Museum of Art’s Rodning Asian Gallery to see new work from Key-Sook Geum, on loan from Callan Contemporary, New Orleans.
Key-Sook Geum creates immaculate sculptural objects, dually inspired by traditional Korean garment forms and the lineage of haute couture. Time intensive and meticulous in execution, at once delicate and dramatic, these conceptual sculptures embody spiritual and humanistic ideals that resonate across cultures. With silk gauze, faceted beads, crystals, coral, and semiprecious stones interwoven with red, black, and silver wire, Geum integrates Eastern and Western notions of positive and negative space. In wall-based works as well as hanging mobiles, the sculptures are exquisitely responsive to variations in natural and directional lighting, casting prismatic webs of light and shadow. The forms and shadows move subtly as their contours flutter on air currents in the room, quivering like flower petals and evoking the East Asian concept of “qi,” the life-breath that vibrates within our awareness.
A professor emerita of textile arts and fashion design at Hongik University (Seoul), Geum has exhibited in cultural capitals such as New York, Chicago, Berlin, Vienna, Beijing, and Tokyo, and has been commissioned by major international corporations to create monumental installations as much as four to ten stories high. She received global acclaim as costume director for the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, where her innovative designs were praised by critics as unique in the history of the Olympic Games. Her sculptural works are included in institutional collections such as the University of British Columbia (Vancouver) and the China National Silk Museum (Hangzhou), as well as in significant corporate and private collections around the world.
This selection of work will be presented alongside work from the MMofA collection.